No need to open another post whining about how Greece is burning so let’s get right into this great new discovery for the Sanctum! Today we'll be diving into 'Find the Shoreline', the promising debut by the Canadian-American rock band Hello Fiasco. The band has been compared to The Killers, Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy among others, and so, considering the success of historic, accomplished albums in the likes of Hot Fuss -still one of my all-time favourites- we can only expect great things and wish a similar musical journey for Hello Fiasco. For the time being, let's see what we are dealing with!
The playful and mature songwriting exhibited in ‘It Makes Sense’ gives off this bittersweet melancholy of awareness, of growing older, and makes for an enthralling way to start an album. It's about recognising that people's needs are different and ever-changing. A pill that's hard to swallow sometimes. The backing vocals offer this cathartic sense that makes the burden of maturity feel lighter. The heat is rising with Boss giving a fiery performance in ‘Hold Me Close’ reinforced by the blazing guitar, all that climaxing in the addictive chorus 'Can you hold me close and help me remember?'. A hit single that has all the qualities to skyrocket the band to the top of the tops. Contemporary yet made to be a classic. We are two tracks in, and it's already clear that the level of production is superb and so is the band's potential. Dramatic strings open the curtain for ‘Before Time Leaves You’, a heart-rending piece, ideal for contemplating, putting yourself at ease and crying to decompress from the daily stress. The laid-back instrumental and gentle vocals introduce a side of the band that feels more private, and vulnerable. The track is a warm caress and wise advice from a loving friend: ‘Do the things you love to do before time escapes you’. At the same time, there’s a dark side -if you seek it- where the track hits straight to the fear of passing time but let’s not choose to stay in this sad place!
The following ‘You Don’t Want Love’ comes like a brief storm after the calm with its vintage style and intoxicating character, borrowing something from good old Rock n’ Roll and something from 80’s Classic Rock. Same goes for ‘Gorgeous Girl’ where the band is undoubtedly having the most fun, getting completely loose and becoming this endless supply of energy. The track sounds like an actual live concert brought to the studio, wild and impulsive yet big and polished. The line ‘You-You can’t walk all over my self-esteem’ might stick in your head for days. ‘Listen To Me’ feels like a brother to ‘It Makes Sense’ but is a little more emotional. There’s a special confidence in Boss’s expression which it’s perfectly aligned to the slow burning melody and heavy percussion, creating a robust piece of music, a harmony similar to a perfectly executed dish.
Cover Art by Ivan Arenas
Having mentioned The Killers during the prologue, ‘Atlantis and Compatible’ reminded me of the chilling ‘Playing With Fire’ taken from Brandon Flowers’ 2010 debut. Maybe it’s the ‘fire’ reference, maybe the female vocal addition. Either way there’s a romantic smell in the air and for the first time we get a straight reference to the album’s title and oceanic theme. ‘Atlantis and Compatible’ speaks about the treasures we can discover if we let ourselves surrender to love, go further from our ego, and reach new worlds: ‘We found the lost city of Atlantis’. The rousing ‘Chess’ comes all loud and resolute like a child determined to get whatever they ask for. Every single instrument, together with the performance, bring something punk and renegade to the table. ‘Chess’ sounds young, green and explosive and yet mature and professional. Moving on to ‘Words Are Fast’, an ode to the power of words, to the impact they can have on human relationships: ‘They tend to last, they don’t like to go away, they make us doubt everything’. Boss’s output gets extra soft and we are left to connect every single lyric to our own experiences and personal ways of interacting with words over a crying guitar and bass. The nerve of ‘Worried Sick’ which is successfully reflected in the ever-building percussion, resembles the chaos and uncertainty taking over when things are out of our control. The track speaks, of course, about love and caring but let’s be honest: The line between love and control is so so thin! ‘Worried sick’ sounds like the gem that fans will be proud to have discovered. A secret single let’s say.
The almighty ‘One Phone Call’ is what us Greeks say ‘One single swallow does not bring spring’, meaning that everything takes time, constant effort and true care. The line: ‘One phone call doesn’t fix it all, AT ALL’ makes for another uplifting, catchy chorus while the backing vocals make the most difference here, adding a strong touch of epicness to the track. This goes in the Sanctum’s top 5 of the album for sure. At this point I’m thinking about the fact that the album is close to its end and we’ve yet to listen to a ‘filler’. Which would be natural anyway. Is that what makes a debut album a classic? Most possibly if you ask me. The chords and strings of ‘Trust’ drown the listener into a sea of melancholy and nostalgia from the very first seconds. Emotions overflow, the words speak straight to the heart and we couldn’t ask for a better ending for an album as touching as FTS. The line ‘It hurts too much but still we stay, it’s the price we choose to pay’ could be a perfect parallelism of the band’s audience choosing to enjoy art that’s deep and real, where they are willing to abandon their naivety and leave their 'safe zone' by listening on. To feel, connect, find their own shoreline.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt that and album is a 10/10. Find The Shoreline is contemporary yet classic, insubordinate yet polished, loud and at the same time contemplative. You will find yourself jumping up and down and next thing you know, you’re getting lost in the beautiful songwriting and sentimentality. In any case, there is not a single crack in the tracklist. It’s obvious that the tunes were wisely picked to create a robust debut and for that reason, the bar is set very high, as you will see for yourself very soon. We are so looking forward to everything the future holds for Hello Fiasco but before any of that, the Sanctum is proud to have covered the earliest work of the band! Cheers!
Enjoy Find The Shoreline here: